Lennar Corp. shares took a beating Friday morning after self-proclaimed fraud buster Barry Minkow criticized the financial structure of some of its deals.
Shares of the nation's second-largest homebuilder (NYSE: LEN) were down $2.20 to $9.22 shortly before noon.
Minkow, who served more than seven years for a stock fraud involving carpet-cleaning company ZZZZ Best, released a list of what he termed 10 red flags involving Lennar. He now operates the Fraud Discovery Institute and has posted details of his allegations at www.frauddiscoverynetwork.com.
Lennar provided "vague and less-than-transparent responses to the SEC inquiries about off-balance sheet, joint-venture debt,” the institute alleges.
Minkow’s group alleges that the builder has “exhibited a pattern of behavior over a sustained period of time of deceptive business practices, ranging from building homes using Chinese drywall to cut costs, to causing the California Public Retirement Fund (CALPERS) to lose approximately $1 billion.”
Lennar said it was working on a response to Minkow’s allegations.
The institute said it has sent a letter of complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and the IRS.